Book Review: Essential Crochet: 30 Irresistible Projects for You and Your Home by Erika Knight

Crochet is back in the vogue again and better then ever as illustrated by this collection of easy yet effective designs. If you do not know the difference between a half treble and a triple crochet stitch, prepare to be enlightened. Clear, systematic photographs make learning new stitches a snap; it’s like having a helpful tutor at your elbow. After learning or reviewing the stitches, the patterns are divided between five chapters according to style. Each project is carefully photographed providing the needleworker a clear representation of the piece.  

The “Basic” chapter opens with a cuddly yet deceptively simple throw that utilizes a foundation layer into which strands of chenille yarns are woven. The leather tote bag is one of those projects that make you wonder why you didn’t think of that. Leather thonging and double crochet team up to create a crisp, clean design that is sure to garner attention. Each pattern is clearly laid out beginning with the finished size, material requirements, stitch gauge and tips followed by the construction method and detailed finishing instructions.

A stool cover shows just how much can be done with string while the patchwork throw worked in cotton yarns is a bright take on an old quilt design, both found in the “Timeless” chapter. Lots of freeform projects dominate the “Contemporary” patterns while “Heirloom” is devoted primarily to assorted baby projects including a teddy bear, slippers, a sweet bonnet and cardigan set finished off with a lovely shawl. Personal accessories including a collection of simple bracelets and a fun, funky ruffle scarf are a few of the projects to be found in “Vintage”.

The book wraps up with an assortment of helpful information including abbreviations, caring for the finished crochet pieces, yarn substitution and a comprehensive list of UK yarn suppliers. U.S. and Canadian residents should not have too much difficulty locating or substituting for the required yarns. No matter what your level of expertise you are certain to find several “must try” projects for yourself and others in this well rounded collection.  

Note the date on this article may be incorrect due to importing it from our old system.